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With a performance career spanning five decades, Charlie Austin has played on The Tommy Banks Show on CBC and the 1970's and 80's ITV Concert series, where he accompanied singers such as Mel Torme, Henry Mancini, Viki Carr, Connie Stevens, Carol Lawrence, and others. Charlie was the house band pianist and arranger for Second City Television (SCTV), produced in Edmonton. For over thirty years, Charlie taught in Grant MacEwan University’s Jazz Program, where he influenced a generation of Canadian jazz musicians. His comprehensive jazz piano text An Approach to Jazz Piano, and 450 Contemporary Piano Studies in 15 Keys, his groundbreaking collection of studies in popular styles, have been sold around the world. Now retired, Charlie continues to perform, teach, record, and inspire. Recent recordings include solo piano If I Should Lose You (2012) and trio recording Homage (2014).

Friday, May 11, 2018

Exploring Constant Structure Voicings

This clip continues the exploration of an interesting two handed chord that makes a kind of melodic texture which is surprisingly versatile.  See also Constant Structure 6/13ths over a Blues Scale.  These constant structure chords work great over a blues scale, and are an easy way to generate passing chords in many contexts.




Here we voice the 13ths in the left hand with the 3rd on the bottom (3-13-7-9).  The right hand plays a major 6 chord in root position (1-3-5-6-1).  These can be played on each of the notes of the blues scale.




It's useful to practice these in chromatic sequences, so they will be under your fingers when you call on them in improvisation.

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